By: Anthony Zataray
It takes three things to have a voice in today’s society: something you want to say, a platform to voice your opinion, and the ability to be consistent. In the current world, there are millions of different voices, and if you are trying to throw yours into the mix, you must ask yourself: Does this even make a difference? I understand the feeling because, as a writer, I know that writing can be very challenging; you can put in a lot of long hours and hard work, just to go unnoticed. Thankfully, I have learned a few things that have helped me along my journey, and hopefully they will help you with trying to make a difference.
First, have something worth saying. That is important because if whatever you are trying to say does not have any validity, then your voice will always go unnoticed or unappreciated. Here are some tips for formulating higher levels of opinions. First, try to be as informed as possible in whatever it is that you have an opinion about. For example, if you have an opinion about the misrepresentation of Latin Americans in the media, then research and find some background history of Latin Americans and the ways that they have been misrepresented. In addition, find information from current events to support your opinion. Next, do further research to locate other people with similar opinions, either in person or online, and see what they are saying about it, and what has already been said about this topic. You can use these findings and formulate new and interesting angles on the topic with your own expertise. Third, make an attempt to formulate an opinion in a creative and organized way. Whenever you voice an opinion through writing, make sure that it is has been read and proofreaded thoroughly, not only by your own eyes but by the eyes of others, before it is presented to the public. This ensures writing that is free of grammatical errors and is clear, organized, and insightful. Being clear, organized, and insightful is the foundation of any good opinion that people will want to hear. It is through these three characteristics that people find value in your opinions. When people find worth in your writing, you start to make a difference.
Second, have a platform on which to express your opinion. Having a platform is just as important as having the opinion. Fortunately, there are a lot of different platforms that are free and easily accessible. The first one is the social media application Instagram. Instagram has become one of the most popular social media platforms in the current day; it has over 600 million users and around 100 million posts daily. This is a utilitarian platform because it is free to use and allows users to get their posts in front of many eyes. Companies and artists, such as Adidas, Fit Tea, and John Mayer, have turned to this app to help their marketing plans. It is good to keep in mind that Instagram is a better tool to display visual expression such as photography and video; and it’s a good resource to promote other platforms that you may have. Another platform is Twitter. This platform is a bit of a different type of expression.
A lot of educators promote their teachings and knowledge on this website. Also, Twitter is an easier way for your opinion to disseminate because of retweeting (reposting or forwarding to other users) and liking. Twitter has also proven success with expression of opinion. Very recently, the Parkland survivors used Twitter to shut down conspiracy theories that they’re paid “crisis actors.” They also used Twitter to put together their recent March For Our Lives international protest. Lastly, a blogging website called Medium Blog is a great resource to promote opinions through writing. The algorithm of this website is unclear, but my experience with it has been great because Medium Blog has personally given me an easy and organized way to create blogs and get them in front of more people than I could imagine. I use Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, and Facebook to promote my blogs on Medium. At first, I was receiving roughly 25-30 views and 15-20 reads. Recently, one of my blogs received more than 1,000 views and 500 reads. Now, when I post blogs I receive on average 90-100 views and 50-60 reads.
Third, be consistent. One of the most important things in establishing a voice in today’s world is to be consistent. This is an important characteristic to have because nothing happens overnight. In order to have people take your opinion seriously you need to build credibility, and this comes through consistent good work. The more pieces of writing or videos that are posted, the more opportunities people have to find your work. Don’t forget that once people begin to notice your work, you begin to build a following and your opinion makes a difference to more and more people.
Keep moving forward and keep trying to make a difference. Sometimes it can seem that you’ve taken on an impossible task, but a well-established opinion on many different platforms will find its way eventually to many people. Never forget the power of one. Once you get one person to start reading and following your work, hold on to that and stay positive. It is possible.